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NBA Draft: A look at the history of the draft and stash tactic

Taking a look at some of the best and worst players who were drafted but stayed overseas to play.
by Anthony Slater Published: July 7, 2013


Arvydas Sabonis — Drafted in 1986, Sabonis didn't join the Blazers until 1995, partly because of personal choice and partly because of a three-year period where Soviet authorities wouldn't allow him to play in the NBA. Once in the U.S., he had a solid seven-year run, but already past his prime and injury-prone, Sabonis falls into the category of what could have been.

Manu Ginobili — Viewed as the signature player of the recent draft and stash trend, San Antonio took Ginobili in 1999, brought him over in 2002 and the future Hall of Famer had already helped the Spurs win three titles by 2007. Helped open the floodgates for many others over the past 10 years.

Marc Gasol — Because his brother already starred in the league, Marc Gasol was a safe draft and stash pick. He was taken in 2007 by the Lakers and expected to come over soon after. He did, just one season later, after his draft rights were traded from the Lakers to Grizzlies in exchange for his brother. Marc won Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Serge Ibaka — Selected in 2008 by the Thunder and viewed as a long-term project, Ibaka surprised many, coming over in 2009 and becoming an immediate defensive force his first year in the league. These days, at only 24, he's an improved jump-shooter and the league's top shot-blocker.

Other notables: Luis Scola, Toni Kukoc, Mehmet Okur, Peja Stojakovic, Marcin Gortat, Ricky Rubio, Omer Asik, Nikola Pekovic


Fran Vazquez — Drafted 11th overall by the Magic in 2005, Vazquez, a skilled 6-foot-10 interior player, was expected to soon join Dwight Howard and form a formidable frontcourt in Orlando. He never came, spurning the Magic front office and infuriating its fans. He still has never played an NBA game.

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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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